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Lessons from Buddy

Lessons from Buddy – our other ex HS horse
Back about 1998 a friend and I took on ‘Buddy’ whose owner was desperate to rehome him because he had 'peculiar issues’ which made him unsaleable at the time. He was only 4 years old and yet had already had 4 owners.

We soon found out that Buddy was an extreme Head-Flicker (although it wasn’t identified as such back then). No sign of it in the paddock but as soon as he was mounted the incessant vertical flicking of his head would start - just like a bee had flown up his nose. He would also get sudden urges to rub his nose on his leg and this could happen at any gait.

Back then we didn’t have the faintest idea what could be causing the flinging of his head and therefore ‘ran the whole gamut’ – thinking it was the bit, the rest of his tack, saddle-fit, the riders ‘hands’ because he was particularly ‘bad’ with any contact. On the other hand he was not much better on a loose rein either. Buddy was also noticeably ‘heavy on the forehand’ and would ‘stumble over nothing’. Eventually we gave up riding him because it was obviously unpleasant for both horse and rider.

At the time the property where he lived was all rye-grass and clover. Our other horses exhibited all sorts of other issues too but we didn’t ‘put 2 & 2 together’ that all those problems were actually related and very much due to the pasture.
Then we moved properties - to one where the grasses were older and the land hadn’t been fertilised for many years. The grass was more like standing hay as it hadn’t been grazed for months.

A couple of months later on a bright, sunny day I saddled him up to see how he was. To my amazement there was no sign of his terrible head-flicking. He still rubbed his nose somewhat but overall he was so much better.

Since then Buddy has lived with us on Dry Lots and Tracks and has been completely flick-free for over 15 years.
He is 27 years old now and has tested positive for Cushing’s. He grows a long coat and was starting to show signs of muscle wastage.
Even on his high hay diet about 6 months ago he developed FWS (Fecal Water Syndrome) and he seemed to be ‘aging’.
After some in depth reading on the operation of the digestive tract he was started on 50gms/day of the new Alleviate Gold product (by syringe until he would eat that amount in his feed). Just one of its potential benefits is improved gut function. Many problems with the gut flora are secondary to impaired function of the intestine:

Once the FWS cleared up he turned a corner in his whole health which helped with absorption of nutrients in his food and forage. His ribs are no longer visible and every morning he plays with his little mate Star!

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